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Diagnosed With Celiac at Age Twenty Months in 1939

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DeLene

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 "When our daughter DeLene became ill, there were only about ten known cases of Celiac in the United States. Fortunately, our pediatrician, Dr. Clifford Lamar, had treated two other Celiac patients and was able to discover immediately what was wrong. At that time a diet of bananas and whey of buttermilk mashed together was the only known cure for this disease.  DeLene was placed in a hospital for two weeks and started on this peculiar diet. It was heartbreaking for her father and I and other relatives and friends to sit and eat full meals while our only child had cold bananas and buttermilk. After she had been ill a year Dr. Lamar and I were grasping for something to keep her going. At that time World War Two was going and the famous Dr. Tom Spies who had discovered the cure for pellegra at the wonderful Hillman Clinic here in Birmingham was lecturing in Europe and had been denied passage back to the United States. Dr. Lamar was trying to get a message to Dr. Spies, hoping he could help us. We waited four months for Dr. Spies to be released, only to have him tell us that the banana and buttermilk diet was the only thing he knew to give our child. Finally, as time went on, Dr. Lamar added some applesauce, green beans, and spinach with only a little salt to season and boiled chicken. Have you ever seen a three and one-half year old wolf down a whole boiled fryer? Ours did. Also, she ate as many as twenty-five bananas in one day.  We bought them by the stalk. I'm sure she was fed things she shouldn't have eaten when we weren't around. After about a year, she began fainting, and we allways kept orange juice on hand so we could revive her.  We figure she ate about a ton of bananas in her more than two years on the diet. Dr. Lamar warned us that her teeth and bones might disintegrate, but she came through it all without any I'll effects, and is completely normal in every way. At the age of four and a half she was cured."

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When you say she was “ cured” , what do you mean?  People with Celiac must always eat gluten-free.  If they stop, the symptoms and damage will return.  Is she still alive today?  Has she been gluten-free her whole life? 

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